The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is feeling the heat. More and more people are learning, thanks to this project and other efforts, that HSUS is not a real “humane society” and in fact gives only 1 percent of the money it raises to pet shelters, according to the watchdog group HumaneWatch.org.
“People are seeing how HSUS uses misleading advertising that preys on the common misconception that HSUS is a pet-shelter umbrella in order to raise millions from the public,” according to a press release from HumaneWatch.
The watchdog group has released many comments made to media from pet shelters that have been willing to publicly speak out against HSUS.
In a poll of the sheltering community, which used a nationally representative sample of 400 rescues, shelters, and animal control organizations, HumaneWatch found that 71 percent agree that “HSUS misleads people into thinking it is associated with local animal shelters.”
Comments received from respondents follow. Some have been edited for grammar and spelling.
“A horrible organization that does a disservice to those of us who are helping dogs and cats.” –A rescue
“I am appalled that they share so little of the funds raised with organizations that are actually out there in the trenches fighting the war against pet overpopulation and abuse.”—A shelter
“I feel they deliberately misrepresent what they are and what they do.”—A rescue
“HSUS, I believe, misleads the general public into believing that they support the local humane societies and small rescue organizations when this is not the case at all.”—A rescue
“Don't care for them at all, they do a disservice to all shelters and rescues.”—A rescue
“Misleading advertising, hidden agenda, funds could be better used elsewhere.”—A rescue
“They need to spend more money helping animals and local rescues more directly and consistently.”—A rescue
“Useless, harmful, and misleading.”—A rescue
“We really don't know how they are helping any animals directly!”—A shelter
“A scam.”—A rescue
“For the amount of money they bring in they do not do enough good.”—A rescue
“It misrepresents what it does. They have turned into a front for PETA.” —A rescue
“Only does those things that will grab media attention. Misleads public.”—A rescue
“We changed our name … because we in no way want to be affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States. I personally believe their ad campaigns are deceptive.”—A shelter
“I think they're deceptive in their fundraising and take away funds from local shelters/rescues.”—A rescue
“It is not an actual shelter or rescue, yet solicits funds by presenting itself as such.”—A rescue
“Some of their views have made it very hard for shelters. They offer help but only to a few.”—A shelter